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Sail Date: July 2019
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the ... Read More
I first experienced "Your World, Your Way" service on the Riviera in 2017. A 21 day Med cruise, It was fantastic! This was largely due to the fact that Peter Roberts was the Cruise Director and his partner Jason Parsons was the Assistant Cruise Director, they were amazing. The food and service on Riviera was also amazing and due to this experience the folks that I met on the Riviera decided to book Insignia 14 day Caribbean. Thank goodness we were with 6 other friends, or we could not have bared the thought of 2 weeks on this ship. Where to start...let's start with the biggest problem, the cruise director! We disliked him so much, we can't even remember his name, we believe it was Ray. We heard the guy on the loud speaker announcements daily and didn't get to see him until day 5. We tried to be friendly with him and one person in our party went over to him to see if he was going to sing at karaoke or not - the Cruise Director was staring at this phone all through the event. He looked up at the person in our group and very sarcastically said - "I hire singers, I don't sing", then went straight back to his phone. All of us were dumbfounded! Believe it or not, it got worse, he then went over to the bartenders and started pointing and laughing at our group - we had no idea why, perhaps he thought his sarcastic remark to a gentleman in our group was funny???? Disgusting!!! Remember, when traveling as a group of 8 on Oceania we spent over 50K for the two week cruise - this type of behaviour should not be tolerated. School children are better behaved! The food quality, in my personal opinion, has dropped since we cruise on Riviera in 2017. On Riviera, the quality and selection were extremely good - especially in the specialty restaurants. On Insignia however they were marginal. My entree in Toscana was horrible - how on earth can you mess up a plate of pasta? The pasta in the buffet was 100% better. I went to culinary school for 2 years, and believe and am qualified enough to remark on the food quality. * The buffet was mediocre and repetitious. * The main dining room was the best place to eat, but again, the quality was not up to par * Bar Services at all venues were quite good This ship underwent a dry dock very recently and it appears they just concentrated on the cabins and updated the furniture and carpet in the public areas. On the pool deck the boards were loose and warped. I watched more than one person take a stumble on it. There were very elderly people on this, you would thing that Oceania would spend the money to fix the teak deck. The ship also looks tired on the outside - lots of rust and Overall - Your World, Your Way - I think not. This will be our last Oceania Cruise. The cost associated for this trip was NOT fulfilled in any way. We have paid much less on Princess, Celebrity and Holland American and no longer see the benefits of this marketed "UPSCALE" line. This line needs to re-think their approach, it's not working any longer. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I have been cruising for the last 20 years and Oceania cruise was the worst of all. This cruise marketed as “Upscale” was nothing but a hype, money-grabber and false advertising of #1 in hospitality. Poor quality of entertainment, rude ... Read More
I have been cruising for the last 20 years and Oceania cruise was the worst of all. This cruise marketed as “Upscale” was nothing but a hype, money-grabber and false advertising of #1 in hospitality. Poor quality of entertainment, rude & obnoxious Cruise Director (Ray) who didn’t know what he was doing and on top of it had an attitude. Besides neither was he seen on board nor there was any representation of him in the first 5 days of the cruise. The itinerary included 2 ports - Bonaire & St. Kitts. Both these islands were practically shut down due to public holiday. They were practically devoid of life with an unscheduled turned-down transportation service. Why would one dock at an island on a public holiday – to get a discount in the docking fees? Absolutely ridiculous. The quality of food whether it was at the buffet or specialty restaurants was only marginally better than other cruise lines and did not justify the high premium price that was charged for this supposedly “Upscale” cruise. In all fairness, the housekeeping & bar staff was quite attentive and saved out trip. What a waste of money - but one never knows unless one tries!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Oceania (and the government) cancelled out 7 day cruise to Cuba. The cruise was "re-routed" to some obscure ports (Belize/Honduras/Mexico). This 'high-end' (self-proclaimed) cruise line them filled up the ship with ... Read More
Oceania (and the government) cancelled out 7 day cruise to Cuba. The cruise was "re-routed" to some obscure ports (Belize/Honduras/Mexico). This 'high-end' (self-proclaimed) cruise line them filled up the ship with anyone " looking for a deal". Everything from there went down-hill.They pre-booked us into the Miami East Hotel overnight, except they failed to inform us that there is an active construction-zone going on. Boarding was a nightmare (excuse was the "Coast Guard was inspecting"). The "entertainment" got sick, so saw only one so-so show and then some 3rd rate comic and magician and showing Dumbo and Marvel movies was all that was left. The ship's captain decided not to pull into one Mexican port because of "7-8 feet surges". Funny a Celebrity ship was already docked there, so clearly this must have been a corporate decision to save docking fees and cut costs. The ONLY redeeming value on this cruise was the food and dining service. The manager of the Polo Lounge was superb as was the food. Overall, BIG disappointment. Shame on Oceania! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
A few weeks ago, we cruised aboard MS Insignia. It has been several years since we have been on Oceania (due to retirement plans). We were looking forward to two things: The voyage to Cuba and how the line has fared in the years since ... Read More
A few weeks ago, we cruised aboard MS Insignia. It has been several years since we have been on Oceania (due to retirement plans). We were looking forward to two things: The voyage to Cuba and how the line has fared in the years since we last travelled with them. First things first, the trip to Cuba was cancelled. Not Oceania’s fault, as it hit all the cruise lines hard. We had originally booked a low deck porthole cabin for this trip. Once the Cuba trip was cancelled, Oceania came back to us with a very nice package of monies returned AND possible upgrades. We chose an upgrade (which we paid for), to Concierge level. We spent a few days in South Beach, pre cruise, and then boarded Insignia. We were very pleased with the refurb that the ship had just finished. Beautiful and elegant in all aspects of this small ship. This was our 65th cruise and have been on many lines, but must say that the small ship feel was really nice. Our cabin was a nice size with lots of storage space, very nice balcony and great amenities. We spent more time on this balcony than many other ships from our past. The bathrooms are very small; particularly the shower, but we are not large people, so it did not affect us. Our cabin stewards were excellent, exceeding our expectations. Bottled water was placed in our cabin each day and always kept full. Bottled water is filtered aboard ship and replaced each day in your cabin (included). You can walk the entire length of this ship within two-three minutes. We were on Deck seven, so we were always two decks up to the Terrace Café and Pool, or two decks down to the Main Dining Room. There are two shops, a very tiny lobby and several areas to enjoy drinks or relaxation. The library on Deck 10 was a beautiful place to relax and read. The days of libraries like this on most ships are gone. The Show room area was very spacious and was used for several different events during the voyage. This ship has very limited entertainment. A pianist in the evening, along with a quintet of strings. The main show was always at 9:45 p.m., when most of the ship had gone to bed. The entertainment was okay, but we did not go to more than one show. There is also a stunning view lounge on the upper decks with wonderful views of the ocean. The times we went there to enjoy an after dinner drink, it was usually empty! The FOOD is what we were most anxious to try as we had remembered it being outstanding from a previous cruise. We were not disappointed in any of the venues on board. The two specialty restaurants are included in the price, but you only get one shot at each of them (unless you are a Suite guest). Both Toscana and the Polo Grill were outstanding, each in their own way. The quality of the food, presentation and service were all excellent. The Main Dining Room was excellent too, with a wonderfully diverse menu each evening and great service. Very nice wine lists in all outlets also helped. We enjoyed breakfast in the MDR several times, and again, was top notch. The Terrace Café is the buffet. It is not very big, nor is there a large selection. We did feel, however, that the food offered was very nice quality and we enjoyed it. We especially enjoyed the great cheeses each day (which were not the processed goo that you get on most ships). Sitting outside on the ship’s fantail, was really nice, especially in the Caribbean setting. The pool restaurant served very nice sandwiches and grilled items cooked to order. Also, it had a daily fruit and salad bar, along with some of the best ice cream and shakes at sea. Our ports of call were not the reason we stayed with this cruise after Cuba was cancelled. Key West, Roatan, Belize and Costa Maya (which had to be skipped due to high winds) were all okay. We had been to most of them, so we didn’t do any excursions. I could write many pages about this ship, but need to conclude by saying we look forward to travelling with Oceania again in our cruising future. IF you like the small ship experience, you will love this ship!! Thanks again to all members of the crew that made our week go by way too fast! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my second cruise, aboard the same ship Riviera. However it was my first time as a solo traveler. The ship itself and everything included in it was wonderful! However, the service was very poor. As a solo traveler, I was virtually ... Read More
This is my second cruise, aboard the same ship Riviera. However it was my first time as a solo traveler. The ship itself and everything included in it was wonderful! However, the service was very poor. As a solo traveler, I was virtually ignored when it came to service. So badly so, that after the first two reservations in the specialty restaurants, I cancelled my future reservations since I did not want to go through such treatment again. If you are seated by yourself, you will be waited on, eventually. But only after you say something to the Manager. Even after that the service will be slow, the wine steward will not wait on you, and forget having your water refilled or even asking you if you would like dessert. They make it obvious that Oceania simply does not want you there as a solo. In the buffet it was not much better. You serve yourself and always have to get your own drinks. For several days I would get my own water and coffee and then a head waiter saw me doing this .and asked if he could help. I explained to him that I knew if I wanted anything I would have to get it myself. He was apologetic, but full of excuses as to why I was ignored. After that, I did notice a small improvement in the service. I can only assume he must have said something to the staff. This treatment was everywhere on the ship. Everywhere!! If you were seated by yourself, you were ignored. I did find a bartender that was the complete opposite and treated me like everyone else, so there were exceptions. But if you are a solo, do not travel on Oceania. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it included four countries we previously hadn't visited: Cuba, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. The timing worked well to have some family join us on this 7-night cruise. I would note that we are Oceania loyalists based on the cuisine, quality of the ships and their excellent crews, as well as the vast assortment of 7-12 day cruises on offer work for our busy lifestyle (in our early 40s and both working full-time). We're always being asked about being the youngest passengers on the ship (we are both fit and look like we're in our 30s), and our response is always "what's not to like, great vacations with interesting fellow passengers". One more disclosure - I'm Gluten Free (GF) and LOVE the way that Oceania tends to my dietary restrictions. Taking the stress out of eating all over the world is a game changer for me knowing that I can always have a safe breakfast and dinner in every port. This was our second time on Riviera and we really love this ship. The size works for us with the additional restaurants, cooking school, larger Baristas with great views, and larger cabins across all categories. We've previously sailed on Insignia and enjoyed the intimacy of the smaller ship but the PH cabins on these R-class ships are the size of standard veranda cabins on Riviera/Marina. The PH cabins on Riviera are as nice as our PH on a previous Regent SS Voyager cruise. On this cruise we took a cooking class "If it Swims" and really loved the class and the instructor - Stephanie Hersh. Stephanie was the long-time assistant of Julia Child and had great stories and a depth of knowledge that was greatly appreciated by everyone on the ship who interacted with her. We enjoyed the "La Cuisine Bourgeois" in La Reserve with wine pairings. We love the La Reserve team and the effort they put into these dinners. We also stopped in for a wine flight and they had excellent nibbles to go with that made it worth the supplement. The one thing we would do differently on the next Riviera/Marina cruise would be to go back to a PH on Deck 11. Being one of only 4 PHs on Deck 7 (all aft with huge balconies which is why we chose our cabin for this warm weather cruise) we felt a bit neglected as we rarely saw our butler. We also note that while it's not a written policy, passengers in suites tend to be seated at better tables in the restaurants. We noticed that unlike our previous cruises we found ourselves with less prime tables when giving a cabin number starting with '7' than '11' at the host stands. When I read Oceania reviews it seems like a lot of folks complain about NCL's ownership economizing on-board. I would note that it does seem like there's a bit less staffing in the MDR and around the pool, but we haven't noticed any other negative changes. We haven't noticed any cost-cutting in the food or prices for the wines by the bottle which are the key for us. I do wonder if Oceania will feel the need to match the included beer/wine with meals offered by Azamara and Viking as these main competitors have Oceania beat in this category. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and well maintained. The pool deck furniture was a little tired, particularly in the spa area, but that's a nit pick. Otherwise, the Riviera is a beautiful ship! The crew, almost to a person, was friendly, outgoing, and helpful. This cruise, for us, was for relaxation and to get away from the cold weather up north. We did not participate in any of the ships excursions so we can't evaluate them. Due to "strong winds" we had to skip the stop in Belize. So instead , we spent the day cruising around the Gulf of Mexico. The on-board entertainment, particularly the evening shows in the theater ("lounge"), was as expected. Not to the same level or quality that we have enjoyed on Celebrity or Princess but not bad. The comedians and magicians were very good. It was nice to be on this size ship. No problem getting a deck chair, no waiting in line to embark or dis-embark, no problem finding a table in the "buffet". But, "buffet" probably isn't the best way to describe this venue. Yes, you do go to various counters to pick what you would like to eat but the staff plates it for you, no 500 hands on each serving utensil. At the grill you can order rib-eye, lobster tail, LARGE shrimp, lamb chops, etc. What surprised me was the standard question, "how many lobster would you like?". In any case, the food was excellent. Not perfect, but I don't know how Oceania could have catered to the varied tastes of 1250 passengers in a better way. All the specialty restaurants, particularly the Polo Grill and Toscano, were excellent. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We went on the Oceania Riviera because we wanted top of the line service, a smallish ship, and to see a different part of the Caribbean. As soon as we went to the buffet after embarkation, I knew we were in for a cruise with great ... Read More
We went on the Oceania Riviera because we wanted top of the line service, a smallish ship, and to see a different part of the Caribbean. As soon as we went to the buffet after embarkation, I knew we were in for a cruise with great service. At no time do your hands touch the buffet utensils. (I had read that this is the number one place on a cruise ship to "catch something") Everything is served to you. We had a penthouse suite which was spacious. This came with some perks including a butler, but I'm not sure what he did. But we allowed to use a seculded pool area located near the spa. There was also an executive lounge penthouse suite people can use. The food on the Riviera was excellent as well as the four speciality restaurants and afternoon tea. We had read that the shows on the Riviera weren't that good but wasn't our experience. It was varied and very entertaining. My husband took classes with the culiniary school and he loved them. There is also an artist and photograher who taught their skills. The decorating of this ship is extraordinary. IMPORTANT - the Riviera had a convenient and free laundry on every floor. So what were the drawbacks - Age - we are in our late 50's and we definately younger that most of the other cruises. Our first night's dinner companions fell asleep at the table. The good news is that there are no children on this cruise. Disembarkation - took a long long long time. Excursions - the western Caribbean offered a small variety of excursions. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
With the mainstream ships getting bigger and bigger, we decided to think small and are very happy we did! The Riviera's the perfect size, food is exceptional, service is outstanding. And we like what it doesn't have - no ... Read More
With the mainstream ships getting bigger and bigger, we decided to think small and are very happy we did! The Riviera's the perfect size, food is exceptional, service is outstanding. And we like what it doesn't have - no screaming kids, hairy-man contests, climbing walls and so on. The ship's decor is low-key, elegant rather than glitzy with some very unusual works of art. Come to think of it, the passengers are also low-key and elegant, rather than glitzy, and also very friendly. Riviera allows you to bring on @ 6 bottles of wine when you embark.(though not for the dining room unless you pay a corkage fee). Their own wine list is pretty pricey but all non-alcoholic drinks are included. I prefer low-sodium dishes when cruising and they are available by request. They were excellent. My husband, on the other hand, felt a few dishes on the regular menu were too salty. Somewhat disappointed in our cabin (see below) and the limited choice of shore excursions. (we booked some on our own) Entertainment was good and Dottie, the cruise director, was great fun All in all, a very pleasant experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" ... Read More
This is our 12th cruise on Oceania. We have been on Rivera a total of 3 times and have just disembarked the ship on March 6. The food, service, and and attention to detail were excellent! I noticed a slight "wear and tear" on the ship and was informed that the ship will receive an update this April. We had been on Riviera when it was a new ship so I was able to notice any changes. We had a Penthouse 3 cabin which was huge with plenty of storage. There was a separate shower and bathtub, two vanities,and also a huge walk in closet. The room stewardess and butler were also excellent. The cabin was kept spotless and they were very accommodating. Oceania asks for a Mid-cruise evaluation. They really pay attention to your comments. If there is a negative comment, the appropriate department follows up concerning your comment and tries to make you happy. The entire staff is friendly and professional. We love Oceania and now only cruise with this company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We like the atmosphere on Oceania cruises. The Riviera was our second Oceania cruise this year. We were in the Caribbean and liked having a larger ship on this itinerary. We do prefer the smaller ships for touring itineraries. ... Read More
We like the atmosphere on Oceania cruises. The Riviera was our second Oceania cruise this year. We were in the Caribbean and liked having a larger ship on this itinerary. We do prefer the smaller ships for touring itineraries. We had a Concierge Cabin. Since it is basically the same size as a balcony, it probably isn’t worth the difference in price. The only amenity that was worth it was the opportunity to book specialty restaurants further in advance. I know that the Riviera is being renovated soon and I could see where it needs it. The specialty restaurants are phenomenal on this ship. For those who have not done this line before, they probably have the most comfortable pool chairs of any line. If you like a quiet upscale atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed. The only turn off to me was that they pushed bingo, which brought the line down a notch in my opinion. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Finally got to take another cruise from my bucket list. Sailed on Riviera and found the staff very enjoyable. Everyone were more than happy to help in anyway to make my stay with them an enjoyable one. I had dinner at Red Ginger (get ... Read More
Finally got to take another cruise from my bucket list. Sailed on Riviera and found the staff very enjoyable. Everyone were more than happy to help in anyway to make my stay with them an enjoyable one. I had dinner at Red Ginger (get the Sea Bass), Polo Grill, Toscana and the Main Dining room. All the meals were delicious and I found the wait staff very friendly. I can’t wait for my next cruise. Being a solo traveller, I decided to sign up for some of the ships tours. The kayaking experience was very interesting with our tour guide filling us in on the sea life around Great Stirrup Cay. I think the group thoroughly enjoyed his talk. Another day found me on a trolley train in St.Lucia. It was a great ride and our conductor was a very funny man. We got to see through the town of Castries, as well as a ride to a lovely beach, it was a fun day for everyone. We were never far from areas to shop at any of the islands that we visited. I did overdue it a little bit at the jewelry table on the ship, but that’s what vacations are all about. Touring by day, shopping by night! The catamaran sail at Sr. Bart’s was a wonderful way to spend time there. While many found the shopping very expensive, I found the sailing and swimming in the cove to be a wonderful way to spend the day. I would highly recommend any of these tours. Disembarkation was smooth and timely. A shout out as well to Judy for all her hard work. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was ... Read More
Caribbean snorkeling cruise. Great space in the penthouse suite. Chose for the itinerary but wish they stayed longer in Bonaire. Did not like that we had to wear a life preserver is when taking the cruises excursion to snorkel. Food was quite good but wish there was more variety as 12 days I would’ve liked to seen different choices. Overall Oceania did a great job with organization embarkation disembarkation and meeting my requests. Pre-ordered particular juices ahead of time and we did indeed get them. Privee was very good. It was our third time booking Privee and it’s a fun evening. Jaques is way too creamy and rich. How could somebody possibly ruin escargot? By smothering cheese all over it. The easiest muster we ever did...thanks for that, luggage arrived by the time we entered suite... Crew friendly and helpful. Bingo run well until too many people ....had to stand in line for 30 min to purchase cards...unacceptable...Should have had several stations or areas to purchase cards to avoid long lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise and second with Oceania. We were on the Riviera last year and had a wonderful time. Much to our delight this cruise was even better than the previous one. For us, as good as the ship itself was and all it had to offer, the best part of the cruise was the people. We met so many amazing people on this cruise and had a delightful time with them from the minute we boarded to the moment we left. We’ve been on the big ships in the past, but we much prefer the size of the Riviera. We find it's a little more intimate, with a sense of community when the ship is not a floating mega-city! Also, and I don’t mean to sound like a stuffy snob, but the type of people that cruise with Oceania appeal much more to our age and tastes than some of the other cruise lines. As so many others have noted, the food is outstanding from the main dining room to the specialty restaurants to the Terrace Café buffet. The buffet selection was as good as any of the other restaurants. Beyond the buffet's amazing selection, what also appealed to us about the buffet was that we don’t touch the food – it is served to us and as a result it is so much healthier. Speaking of healthy, we loved the fact that every morning we could get fresh veggie juice just like we have at home. In all the restaurants there were all sorts of healthy eating alternatives. The room was cozy but large enough. The storage space was adequate. Of course, we loved the balcony where we spent a lot of time enjoying our books and having a drink and taking in the gorgeous views. Even the bathroom was great. It was roomy and we loved having a tub. As for the entertainment, we’re not big on the song and dance shows, but we do love comedy, and on this cruise standup comedian Tom Drake was featured. He did two hysterically funny shows as well as a workshop on comedy. We were very happy with the ports we went to this year. The ports were Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and St. Barts. The stays in the ports for the most part were all day so we never felt rushed. Most of the excursions we chose were good – some better than others. St. Kitts was probably our favourite. We loved the beach and the drive there was breathtaking at times. Beach day at Aruba was great. We visited a lovely beach with lots of shade which we appreciated, and there was very good snorkelling there. We not impressed with the Spice Beach club excursion on Bonaire. It wasn’t much of a beach, but the snorkelling was good. There was only one port we didn’t visit, St. Barts, because we would have had to tender there. We don’t like the tenders that Oceania use. They use their lifeboats, and they are just too rocky. We had a bad experience on one last year and decided to avoid it this year. We found more than enough to do on board – trivia, miniature golf, shuffleboard, cooking lessons, (okay we’re 65, what do you expect!!) The staff was top notch. Everyone from our cabin attendants to the severs in the restaurants to everyone else on board were helpful, courteous and friendly. I should also point out that on this cruise we had the best cruise director ever. Her name was Dottie and she was by far the best Cruise Director we have come across in our ten cruises. She connected with the guests so perfectly. She was always bubbly, funny and just downright nice. Embarkation and debarkation was unbelievably smooth and quick. We hope to go on another Oceania cruise next year. We understand that the Riviera is going to be getting a little refurbishing. We did see some people complaining in previous reviews that the ship looked a little worn. We thought the ship was totally charming. We had no complaints about the appearance or performance of the ship. Hopefully we'll see what is new next year. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke ... Read More
We've cruised about 20 times and had sailed with Oceania twice in the past, including another cruise on Riviera. We absolutely loved it. Oceania had become our favorite cruise line. Not any more. We were among many passengers we spoke with who felt the same way. Always known for outstanding food, that's no longer the case. Perhaps half of the time the food was very good, The rest of the time it was very average, far too frequently bland or over-cooked. The buffet was especially boring but even the speciality restaurants were disappointing. The ship itself was often unpleasant. It was so cold in many of the public areas that we simply couldn't stay in that venue even though we were dressed in warmer clothing. They actually were offering blankets to guests in Red Ginger restaurant. Our Concierge level Veranda cabin was fine. Bed was comfortable. However, the closet doors banged together all night and we had to shove towels between them to keep them quiet. I don't recall the bathroom being so small, nor do I remember that it had a bathtub with shower and a separate walk-in shower. The sink area was tiny. I don't understand why there were two showers in such a small space. Perhaps the walk-in shower was added to accommodate the elderly passengers. The average age on the ship appeared to be in the early 80's. I'm not young, but I felt as though I had been allowed on a ship chartered by a nursing home. Not exaggerating! Most of the crew members were extremely nice and accommodating, especially the cabin stewards. We chose not to participate in many activities, so I cannot rate that part of the cruise. According to our pre-cruise itinerary we were supposed to be in Cuba from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We booked a 3-hr shore excursion scheduled for 8:30. We weren't able to get on the bus until 10:30, thereby losing 2 hours in port. To make matters worse, the ship left at 5:00 instead of 6:00, meaning we lost another hour. We had to be back on the ship at 4:30, which left us with just 3 hours after our excursion to enjoy Havana instead of the 6 hours we had expected. We loved Havana and were sad that we had so little time there. We're unsure whether or not we'll sail with Oceania again. We may, but it won't be on Riviera. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok ... Read More
This was my 6 th cruise on Oceania, unfortunately is see the quality being eroded from past trips. Menus were repeated on a 10 day cruise, never had that before. Entertainment never a strong point with this line, generally that’s ok but this year was a repeat of the shows I saw last year. Quality of food was good, however it is never hot enough and I constantly had to request, send back etc dishes in all venues. Staff are still attentive but sometimes at breakfast waiting for coffee became almos am adventure. Smiles were a bit scarce too. Our trip to Havana less than great as we were not able to leave for our tour until after 11.00 due to the number of passengers booked on tours, something of a miscalculation on Destination Services part. Will be looking for another line next cruise to see if they are better. Sorry Oceania, time to oullup your socks and stop cutting corners! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a ... Read More
We chose this one over one that we had booked on the MSC Seaside because it included a stop in Cuba and one other country that we had not been to before in the Western Caribbean. We (my wife and I) also had her two brothers along for a much needed vacation and we had wanted to see if Oceania cruises would live up to all the hype especially their cuisine. The food was very good, among the best we have had on cruises. Even though the choices on the buffet were limited what they had tasted very good and the sushi for dinner was the best that I had on any cruise. For breakfast I had to see how their lox (smoked salmon) stacked up against the best that I had on a cruise (Royal Caribbean 2006) and they came in a credible second to that one. Specialty restaurants didn't disappoint although they weren't the best we have eaten at they were good. At least the lobster I had on Oceania was better than that on board a recent Regent cruise. Our excursions were all enjoyable and nicely different from the typical cruise line fare. There were a couple of ports that Oceania didn't offer much if any that were exciting or even remotely interesting so we opted to get others from outside companies. The one we got for Cozumel, the Mayan Kun Che Park, was awesome and one that I would recommend to anyone who wasn't interested in visiting the ruins. This was the first time in several cruises that we didn't get a suite and I felt the squeeze in all aspects. We had a veranda room w/concierge and walk around room was minimal - the two of us couldn't go past the bed at the same time. Speaking of the bed, it was a queen bed, had no space under it to store our large suitcases. It has been decades since we shared one that small. The bathroom was large though and that could have had the bathtub taken out to add another 30 sq.feet to the room itself. As it was the only use the tub got was as storage for our suitcases. The staff was uniformly friendly, courteous and bent over backwards to accommodate our every need except for one exception - our concierge. First of all he never bothered to introduce himself when we arrived and a day or two into our cruise I noticed that one of our excursions was different than what we had wanted so I gave him a call and asked him if he would try to get it changed - a normal enough task for a concierge. His response: "You will have to go to Destination Services and ask them yourself." We went on a NCL cruise and had a concierge then who was outstanding. If I had asked him the same thing he would have wanted to know the numbers of both excursions and then would have gotten back to me within two hours with an answer. We never bothered this so called concierge again since it was obvious to us that he didn't want to do his job. I have to say this was the easiest disembarkation that we ever had. Even though we were given a time to get off the ship once we got down to the gangway level we were told that we could just leave - no muss, no fuss, no waiting for our tag color and number to be called. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise and if Oceania has another itinerary that we like will consider them again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. ... Read More
We cruised on the Oceania Nautica 13 years ago and have wanted to return to this line for a long time because of what a wonderful Mediterranean cruise we had. Our recent seven night cruise around Cuba was not the same as our prior cruise. What was different? Most notably, the food. What was great on this cruise were the two speciality restaurants - Red Ginger and the Tuscan Steakhouse. The main dining room and the buffet were not even close. Some offerings were not eatable and we are not picky eaters! I hope in the upcoming remodel they "fix" the buffet area. It was too congested and chaotic as it currently is. There is also a lack of outdoor dining tables at the Terrace. Our other major disappointment was with the shore excursions. Fortunately, we booked a private guide in Havana and enjoyed our day there. We had four excursions through the OLife promo and for the most part those where not good. This was the first cruise we have been on which had no port talks! Unbelievable lack of information. Maybe the poor excursions were due to it being Cuba, but Oceania is not new here and they should do a much better job. Our complaints involved poor guides, (sadly we had the bad luck of getting assigned the same guide two days in a row in Cienfuegos), itineraries which were not like the actual tour, and cancelled excursions. All our guide really wanted was for us to shop and refer him to others. We really wanted to visit a cigar factory and when we boarded, destination services told us it was closed and we need to pick a different excursions. There is only one cigar factory in all of Cuba? Originally, Havana was to two be two days with an overnight. This was changed to one day, with two in Cienfuegos. This was a poor idea. The fittings of the ship definitely need to be redone. Much in our veranda cabin needed a refit from the love seat to the cabinets. Don't get me started on the tiny bathroom. I'm a small woman and felt cramped in the shower. All things considered, we have cruised with several other lines including Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, and National Geographic, with a Viking Ocean cruise coming up in April. All of those lines were far superior to our recent experience on Oceania Sirena. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in ... Read More
Nice ship. Love the size. Nothing to do during the day. The food was very good. Limited selection for breakfast and lunch, but what there was - was very tasty. Balcony room is very small...Bathroom is terrible, but will be redone in the near future. TV was the size of my computer screen, but also will be replaced in dry dock. Asked to be seated at a shared table and twice was sent to a table for four, and did not share. Enjoyed meeting people; do not like getting our request for a table for four or six not honored in the main dinning room. Red Ginger was okay. Cuba was interesting, but not yet ready for Americans. They even state this in their literature. The pool is very small. Four or five people and it is crowded. A bit hard to get into and especially out of the pool. No easy steps to get out... Very few shops. They need to offer more drug store style items. Almost no way to spend our money on this ship. The drinks were very expensive ($13.00 per glass+ tip). Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. Delayed about 30 minutes because of a rainstorm, but then went very fast. We were lucky in that the weather was wonderful the entire week. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational ... Read More
We just returned from circumnavigating Cuba, and the cruise was fantastic It was an older crowd, with no children on board. The ship was beautiful and the food was great, as were the entertainment and staff. We had superior educational programs arranged by the faculty of the school we were traveling with. We don't tend to spend much time in our cabins other than to sleep, so the cabins were perfect for us. The shore excursions, especially in Cienfuegos and Trinidad, were a lot of fun. The Tropicana in Havana is not to be missed. The Cienfuegos and its nature excusion was a huge hit with everyone who went into the mountains to El Nicho. We had a terrible guide in Santiago de Cuba, and that really made the trip sour on our last day in Cuba. She was constantly rushing us, oppressively so. We had no opportunity to shop, other than at the trinket stalls by the port. No opportunity to eat. My wife wanted to buy a few gifts for our adult daughters back home, and if we had known the Santiago day would go the way it did, we would have done our shopping earlier in the trip. No such issues in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Trinidad. This was not the cruise lines fault, but I do hope they make passenger concerns known to the excursion operators. Also, customs is a bit of hit or a miss. One traveler bought art and tried to bring it on the ship after exchanging all his Cuban money into US dollars. It was his last chance to do so. The Cuban customs officer demanded payment in CUC's, and the passenger had to borrow some from a stranger. Again, not the cruise lines fault and no such issues in other ports, probably because all the Cuban money had not been converted back yet. Cuba is beautiful and the people are great. It is a unique experience. Pack some patience and understanding, and you will be enthralled. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary was the main attraction, plus decent reviews. I'll start with the positives. Embarkation was easy. Service in all areas was really good. End of positives. The ship rode poorly, even in fairly calm seas. ... Read More
The itinerary was the main attraction, plus decent reviews. I'll start with the positives. Embarkation was easy. Service in all areas was really good. End of positives. The ship rode poorly, even in fairly calm seas. Constant bumping noises & feelings for the first 2 days , for no apparent reason. Stateroom ( Concierge Veranda ) - lots of creaking noises - had to jam pieces of cardboard in several areas so we could sleep. Also way too small for the price. Veranda tiny. Cruise director - loud PA announcements as early as 7:45 - could not possibly sleep late if you so desired. Unnecessary announcements several times a day - just repeating the info in the daily newsletter. Food - sometimes very good, but quite a few times inedible. This was true in all dining rooms. Food mostly bland, possibly catering to the passenger makeup - average age was well into the eighties. Lunch buffet pathetic. If you wanted a drink pre-dinner, good luck finding a seat. Extremely limited. Shows - mediocre. One comedian was really good, all other shows no better than the lower priced ships. No way we would ever sail with Oceania again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a 14 day mostly southern Caribbean Cruise. 2 sea days out of Miami and two sea days coming back at the end with 8 stops in between and 5 of those were places we had never been to. The ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the itinerary. It was a 14 day mostly southern Caribbean Cruise. 2 sea days out of Miami and two sea days coming back at the end with 8 stops in between and 5 of those were places we had never been to. The stops were all mostly great, except for 2 I would not go back to/ Riviera is a larger size ship in the Oceania line up but still pretty small in comparison to other cruise liners (approx. 1,200 passengers at capacity I believe although it was not at capacity on our cruise). Layout of the ship was good and the pool on the Lido deck is quite large compared to others I've experienced. 4 specialty eateries plus the Grand Dinning Room and of course the buffet give you lots of dinning options. The food was very good overall but I found the selection in the dinning room at dinner not much to my liking. The specialty places were better as was the buffet; surprisingly. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Waves Cafe which is a covered but open deck area on the Lido deck. It was faster and not as busy as the buffet, The buffet had more food options but the cafe was suitable for our needs. There was also a great ice cream place there where you could get milk shakes and well as ice cream in cones or in a dish, Smoothies were served there in the morning. Cabin and balcony were pretty standard although you could not fit an empty suitcase under the bed for storage, which is a first for us, You had to open them and lay flat to get them under the beds (very strange). The bathroom was the great part. Full tub with shower PLUS a stand alone shower as well with actual glass door rather then just a shower curtain! That set up was great! It's an older crowd you'll be sailing with so leave the kids and teens at home - they won't have much company if you take them along. We prefer sailing on small ships as you get to meet more people it seems, particularly if you choose to share a table at dinner in any of the eateries. One thing that I though was odd were the vibrations I could feel at certain spots on the ship. In the Grand Dinning Room (stern of the ship) and in the Waves Grill/Cafe (mid-ship) there was a noticeable and annoying vibration. I have not noticed that on any ship I have sailed on in the past. Overall, a very nice experience as service was excellent in all aspects of the cruise. Entertainment was good at times and poor at other times but that depends on your likes and dislikes I suppose. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And ... Read More
Let me start with the entertainment. First Rate. 12 Person very high end team dancers and Singers. Great shows. We saw three different shows in ten days. So well produced and choreographed. Beautiful costumes with many changes. And excellent recorded music. Sets and background video images on screens. Of the forty cruises we have been on, on Cunard, HA, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent and Celebrity, and Oceania, this is the best set of shows we have ever seen and the most talented entertainers. We have sat through some real snooze cruise shows over the years and honestly we were so impressed with this team and the shows themselves. Handsome young men and beautiful girls, all well choreographed, talented and produced.I cannot enough. The pool deck chairs, while packed in like sardines, are very comfortable. Very thick chair pads and towel covers. Unlike some competitors, who provide no chair pads. Oh my aching back. Food on board Oceania is said to be the best at sea, and the 4 specialty restaurants of Asian (Red Ginger), Jacques the signature French of Jacques Pepin, the Italian Toscana and the grill Polo Lounge all provide really knockout and authentic meals. High end ingredients used and great chefs that produce truly fine dining experiences. The MDR itself is also very good, and service superb throughout the ship's restaurants. Very attentive and competent waiting staff. Buffet in the Terrace is so dull and boring, although many onboard could not wait to fill their plates and stomachs. Speaking of which, many oversize anatomies on board. Growing worse we have observed over the years. The cabins are very nice. We had any A class cabin, and while the bathroom is small, the size of the cabin and balcony was fine for a ten day cruise of the Caribbean. Anything longer we would have opted for a more spacious P cabin with a walk in closet and more interior space.. Officer staff removed and not very passenger interactive or friendly. Not a good mark for Oceania. Captain made his daily announcements but was a ghost. The ship itself is only 5 or 6 years old and very modern. Very open with lots of public space and bars. Martinis is the place for cocktails. Ship sails well, but the Caribbean seas were calm throughout the ten days. The drinks packages offered were fair priced, and the wines included drinkable if not great. All typical of what passes for wine lists on all cruise lines today. Bottle a la carte prices exorbitant for the product available. Horrendous boarding experience in Miami. Oceania should be ashamed, even though some of it was caused by the unfortunate death of a crew person and ship's late arrival.. But no command presence on the ground to handle the huge backed up crowd waiting to board, and very poor communications. It almost got out of control. Not a bright spot on this cruise, but fortunately it was not a harbinger of bad things to come as many feared. All in all Oceania continues to do a very good job, even under NCL ownership. Many fears have been allayed. The product is the same as it first was for us ten years ago when we first sailed with Oceania, which is very good indeed .And the ships size of 1250 passengers while large for us was not too problematic, except for sea days when the sardine factory on the pool deck was overactive. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the ... Read More
There were some islands on this cruise we've not been to before, which is the reason we took it. That & the wonderful food on board Riviera. We do need to stress that entertainment is rather bland on this ship. The food IS the entertainment. We're both in the food industry & this is a reason we've done 2 cruises on the Riviera. We'd have gone back in 2020 for another 14 days, but the only cruise is a 14 day "midweek" type cruise. We hate getting back midweek. We like that 2 day relaxing affair that a Fri-Sat cruise ending affords. Unpacking etc. winding down from the enjoyment & getting ready to be back to work(Uhhgg!) We've noticed with lots of cruises, that the quality starts to slide each year. Not so on Oceania. Our cabin was 8100, which is a great cabin. You hop off the elevator & you're right outside your door. NO noise issues at all. The only thing was, that a prior guest had "bent" the shower door a bit, so it didn't close properly. This allowed water to get out, which wet the floor allowing for the floor tiles to get wet & "pop" up. We notified our attendant about this...It looked like it had been going on awhile as you could see new grout in the floor. This time they fixed the problem & no more issues after about day 3. The room itself was very nice. Fairly large for a Veranda type cabin. With a decent sized Veranda, that you could actually relax on. If there is one thing about Oceania that we've noticed, it's that they really don't offer much to the LGBT community. There was one & only one get together & it was set right at dinner time. Needless to say we didn't attend. Last year we share a table with a Texas couple In Polo Grill, who upon "figuring" us out, just totally "clammed" up for the rest of the meal. Not a good experience for us or them. This Year we had to again share a table(this time in Jacques)The couple saw us & immediately came up with the excuse that the table was too close to the entrance(not at all!) So we had a 4 person table to ourselves & thoroughly enjoyed it. It's obvious to the reader that we try to not share tables to avoid making us or other tablemates uncomfortable. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff ... Read More
Itinerary. After 21 cruises on O, and having been part of the christening and inaugural sailings, I was amazed at the decline of this lovely ship. The staff was AWESOME. They worked so hard as it was obvious there was a reduced staff serving. For example, if you arrived a bit early to the specialty restaurants, they couldn't accommodate you yet the dining room was half empty. Obvious they adjusted to staffing. The main dining room service was sooooo slow. Never saw the cruise director, John??? TV programming was years old. This was the first cruise on O that I did not book a future cruise. I decided from what I saw that I need to open up my options, and now was the time. Please O, come back to your original purpose and serving. The food was not very good, and I'm usually easy to please. Knowing that Claudette Pepin is the Godmother, I am shocked. Read Less
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